Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:Apply Now: Banff International Literary Translation Centre

Date: 24 Oct 2008

  • Next message: Mark R. Harris: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:Apply Now: Banff International Literary Translation Centre"

    Mark wrote:

    "Whenever there are any linguistic issues with an English-language film
    -- thick accents, slang, difficult language (Shakespeare) -- I recommend using the English subtitles if they are available on the DVD, which they increasingly are."

    Are they usually accurate? I find it very distracting when the subtitles or closed captioning vary from the spoken words.

    Of course, they're still usually more understandable than the subtitles on Chinese issued Hong Kong films. I remember the first time I came across "I'm" as a complete sentence. Finally realized it meant: "I am." I found it very amusing in Better Tomorrow II when the English subtitles were nowhere near the English words spoken by Chow Yun Fat in the New York sequence (same thing with evil British colonialists in "historical" kung fu films). It was obviously a several generation translation: Chinese scriptwriter's words translated to spoken English, back to Chinese subtitles, and finally to English subtitles.


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